Low HR Training

1

yet another newcomer full of questions (Read 120 times)

    Howdy!

     

    I've been lurking on this forum and trying lhr training for the past several weeks but now I wonder if I'm doing something wrong.  I seem to be getting slower and not much better at keeping my hr close to MAF. I've been running for several years and have settled on the half marathon distance as my favorite for racing.  This spring and summer I ran with a training group and increased my mileage and pace to see some very nice improvements in my half marathon times (from 2:20-2:15 to 2:05, woo hoo!). My nagging IT band, piriformis and achilles all told me that something different was in order for the winter so I thought I'd try lhr training for a few months to build up my aerobic base to (hopefully) better sustain that zippier running with fewer aches.

     

    I did a MAF test in October on a local track but didn't start lhr training until mid December. I managed an avg hr of 123 (my goal) for that run.  More recently, my hr average is lower than 123 but there have been spikes with max hrs of 140s-high 150s (a few caused by static but most not).  I tried another test on the treadmill today and was much slower (17:22 avg pace instead of 13:40)

     

    Using the 180-age (47) and subtracting 10 points for the nagging IT, etc. stuff, I came up with 123 as my goal hr.  I warm up for .25 miles by walking briskly but my hr seems to jump around once I start running.  Should I warm up longer?  Or aim for an average hr of 123 and accept some higher numbers along the way?

     

    On weekday mornings I'm doing well to get in 30 minutes to an hour run, which isn't much mileage currently. On Saturdays, I wear the hrm but run at a comfortable pace with friends and don't worry about staying under MAF.  I realize this kind of running might cut into any benefits I see but I like my running buddies : )

     

    Thoughts?  Recommendations to just chill out and keep running?

    2014 - heal the sinuses and move to Germany!

    2015 - Paris Marathon 12 April

    jimmyb


      Hi Patty, welcome to the board.Cool

      Nagging injuries often bring people to this training, and the initial slowness/slowdown one can experience in the first months often drives them back to the way they used to train. In my own experience, I have seen slowdowns in the initial weeks, but it usually turns around as I reach the right MAF volume level. I'm a believer in the aerobic base period and don't deviate from Maffetone's suggestion: stay at or under MAF during the aerobic base period. In interviews, he's talked about some of his athletes and how just going over the MAF by a few beats or doing  above-MAF running once a week can sabotage the effort to build your aerobic system properly. You can also sabotage your efforts to heal your injuries.

       

      I took a brief look at your running log. The run you do with your buds once a week (the bagel run?) where you run the group pace averages anywhere from MAF +20 to MAF +45. And this is your long run. The first one I looked at, you ran the whole run pretty much close to what is probably your LT range. This particular run being your long run means you are running approximately 35% of your volume way above your MAF.

       

      35%

       

      You have to ask yourself what your goals are and what you want to commit to. Running 35% of your volume above MAF and sometimes near LT, and all at once, combined with the physical state your in, is probably not going to do the trick, if your goals happen to be healing and a huge aerobic engine. If you ran all your volume at MAF and below, then you have a better chance.

       

      Almost anyone here who has stuck with this will tell you that it's a long term project. Many of us want to run and race the rest of our lives. Long term thinking is paramount. Short-term thinking can end a running career. This method is a strategy for maintaining your health the best you can as you move through life. Life will affect your running. Periods of high stress often bring reduced performance, and sometimes OT and injury. If you haven't read any of Dr. Phil Maffetone's books, I suggest that you do so. He has a good website with a lot of information as well. Learn about aerobic vs. anaerobic, and how one affects the other. Learn about about how periods of intense life stress combined with high volume of running can put you in a state of overtraining rather quickly. Learn about proper warm-up and cool-down. Running by duration vs. mileage. How high carb diets can affect some people's running and health.

       

      Research Mark Allen , the great triathlete. During his first MAF aerobic base periods, his training partners left him in the dust and I'm sure busted him a little. He had to walk hills, and take long walks. What he found was that he healed and that eventually he was running with his partners again, but they were working a lot harder than he was. His heart rate was much, much lower than it was when he used to train at those speeds. He kept to this 12 week MAF aerobic base period every year throughout his career, and always did MAF tests. After the aerobic period, he did some very hard training. This method includes hard training, but only when you're ready for it. You need to ask yourself: are you ready for hard (above MAF) training? Are you healthy?

       

      If you decide to commit to doing this correctly, then you might have to walk sometimes to stay at or under MAF. You might have to let your friends run ahead of you and meet them after the run—for awhile. You will have to have patience (Mark Allen actually calls it "The Patience Phase"). It's not easy running so slow at first, but you will get faster at the same HR. That's the point. You want to get as fast as you can at MAF. You don't want to be slow forever at MAF. Eventually, you can stop taking the -10, and run at 128, 133, or even 138 if you have been progressing really well.

       

      There are links in the second post down on the Boilerplate sticky thread

       

      Below is one case where someone started out with walking, thought long-term and was eventually pretty fast at MAF, and racing well:

      case study

       

      Wish you the best, Patty. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. That's why this forum exists!

      --JimmyCool

       

      p.s. For a signed copy of the above book by me, mail a check for $9.95 (Canadian) to:

       

      Windbag Productions

      5522 Mitochondriac Ave.

      Slowpoke, Saskatchewan, Canada

      tyo978

       

      If you want the bonus MAF test analysis and "don't freak out, you're doing awesome" attaboy, add $100.00 (Canadian)

      Log    PRs

        Thank you for the thoughtful reply, Jimmy!

         

        I think my expectations for LHR training have been a little high and possibly included some magic : )  I enjoy the run with friends but hadn't really looked at how far over MAF it is and how much of my weekly volume it makes up.  Shoot.

         

        I've gone back and forth between trying to achieve an average hr of 123 and trying to keep 123 as the max.  Keeping 123 as the max means really slowing down but those runs feel truly easy with little squabbling from my hip.  Getting my hr close to 123 without going over is still a bit of a challenge but gets easier around the 1 mile mark.

         

        Generally speaking, I encourage others to think long-term but my pr this fall was kinda exciting.  It may be time to take my own (and your) advice : )  I have one of Maffetone's books (The big book of endurance training and racing) but haven't delved into it thoroughly yet.  Sounds like a good winter project!  I appreciate your input and the great results I see from members of this group!

        2014 - heal the sinuses and move to Germany!

        2015 - Paris Marathon 12 April

        jimmyb


          Thank you for the thoughtful reply, Jimmy!

           

          I think my expectations for LHR training have been a little high and possibly included some magic : )  I enjoy the run with friends but hadn't really looked at how far over MAF it is and how much of my weekly volume it makes up.  Shoot.

           

          I've gone back and forth between trying to achieve an average hr of 123 and trying to keep 123 as the max.  Keeping 123 as the max means really slowing down but those runs feel truly easy with little squabbling from my hip.  Getting my hr close to 123 without going over is still a bit of a challenge but gets easier around the 1 mile mark.

           

          Generally speaking, I encourage others to think long-term but my pr this fall was kinda exciting.  It may be time to take my own (and your) advice : )  I have one of Maffetone's books (The big book of endurance training and racing) but haven't delved into it thoroughly yet.  Sounds like a good winter project!  I appreciate your input and the great results I see from members of this group!

           

          You're welcome, Patty. Cool

          Log    PRs